Viking Runes and Rune Stones
Viking Runes and Rune Stones
alphabet they used was invented by their ancient
Scandinavian ancestors. According to legend, Odin, chief of the
Norse gods, speared himself to a tree in an attempt to receive knowledge
and learn the mysteries of the runes. He then passed this knowledge to
Viking alphabet is often called the futhork after the first six
letters of the original alphabet of twenty-four letters. The
alphabet was later reduced to sixteen runes.
runes were carved with a knife or chisel into stone and wood. To
make carving into these surfaces easier, the runes were made using only
straight lines. Words were formed by separating groups of runes
with a period.
were put to practical uses by ordinary Vikings. They were
used for everyday writing such as labeling household items and
personal belongings. They were also used by merchants to
keep records of items bought and sold. Viking warriors decorated
their swords and spears with runic characters too. Viking believed
that warriors who knew how to read and write runes could blunt
enemies' weapons, break chains, cure illnesses, guard against witches
and be protected in battle and on threatening seas.
have been found carved into the altar railings of European cathedrals
and stone statues. In one way, it's lucky for us they did because some
of what we know about them has come from these carvings.
Vikings also used runes to inscribe memorial stones. Some of the inscriptions
were tributes to fallen heros and loved ones. Others mocked dishonest
Viking who had betrayed friends and family.
stones were usually large surface boulders with at least one naturally
flat surface. The stones were often decorated with black, red,
blue and white paint extracted from berries, garden plants and clay-like
earth. These stones and the sagas recorded by Viking poets called
skalds, have helped archaeologists reconstruct some of what we
know about the Vikings.
Viking rune characters were
also inscribed on thumb-sized stones. They were placed in bags and
removed one by one by Viking fortunetellers and magicians to tell the
future, heal the sick, banish evil, or bless people, places, and
are many versions of the runic alphabets. Each has variations in names, shapes,
esoteric meanings and magical uses. One should not mix futharks, or the intent
or meaning becomes confused. The Elder Futhark, the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, and the
Younger (or Scandinavian) Futhark are the most frequently seen versions of the
runic alphabets in use today.
The runes are broken into three sections or groups of eight, called aett (aettir, plural).
First the rune name is given, then its phonetic value, its symbolic image, and finally the esoteric meaning used in divination. Rune users disagree on whether or not to place a different meaning on a rune that falls in an inverted or reversed position. Some runes look the same upside down and right side up. These cannot be "reversed". Nevertheless, any of the runes may appear as a "merkstave" (which literally means "dark stick" and implies a "dark" meaning), depending on how the runes are cast.
(F: Domestic cattle, wealth.)
(U: Auroch, a wild ox.)
(TH: Thorn or a Giant.)
(A: The As, ancestral god, i.e. Odin.)
(R: Wagon or chariot.)
(K: Beacon or torch.)
Wunjo: (W or V: Joy.)
(J or Y: A year, a good harvest.)
(EI: Yew tree.)
(P: Lot cup.)
(Z or -R: Elk, protection.)
(S: The sun.)
(T: Tyr, the sky god.)
(B: Berchta, the birch-goddess.)
Ehwaz: (E: Horse, two horses.) Transportation. May represent a horse, car, plane, boat or other vehicle.)
(M: Man, mankind.
The Self; the individual or the human race.)
(L: Water, or a leek.
Flow, water, sea.)
(NG: Ing, the earth god
(D: Day or dawn.)
(O: Ancestral property.)
can write your name or other words in the runes of the Elder Futhark by using
Write phonetically, and skip doubled letters and silent letters.
"Chrissy" should be written "KRISY".
"Cynthia" should be written "SYNTHIA"
"Ralph" should be written "RALF".
"Thomas" should be written "TOMAS", but "Thad" would be written "THAD".
"Book" should be written "BOK".
"Write" and "Wright" should be written as "RIT".
as in "Chuck", will appear as Kenaz Jera. KJ is the closest
approximation in Scandinavian languages.
EI will appear as Eihwaz.
J and Y will appear as Jera.
NG will appear as Ingwaz.
TH will appear as Thurisaz.
V will appear as the runic W because V and W are interchangeable in Scandinavian languages.